Have you ever bought a new laptop and have no idea what to do with your old one? Same. I was in this exact situation recently. I didn’t want to just toss my old laptop if there was a potential way to make money from it or put it to use somehow. That’s why I did some heavy research to find the best ways on how to make money off your old laptop which is our focus in this article!
What To Do With Your Old Laptop
Even if your laptop barely works, you would be surprised what you can still get it to do. However, there are a couple of boxes you need to check before getting your hopes too high.
- Is all of your data (files, pictures, etc.) backed up onto another laptop/drive/something?
- Does your old laptop start?
- Is the hardware still good? If you have to replace the hard drive, it could cost a little but it could be worth the returns you can receive from some of the options below. If you’re not sure how to look for this, try out some of the tests outlined in this article.
Once you answer these basic questions, I encourage you to look into each of the options below before choosing one. Although many of these could make you money, if you aren’t in a spot where you could use the extra cash, a lot of less fortunate people could find a lot of use in an old laptop. Some great places that accept old computer donations and give them to those who are less fortunate include:
Please keep in mind there are dozens of other helpful organizations that will take your old laptop off your hands and give it to those in need of one.
That said, let’s take a look at all of the options for your old laptop.
Options For Your Old Laptop
All of the options below assume that your laptop still starts, has fine hardware (or has been replaced), and that all of your personal items are off of the computer and stored elsewhere. If these are not the case for your laptop, they can either be fixed so you can follow along to the options below or you may have to try to just sell it for parts.
#1. Install Linux
When you do, the software gets rid of any bugs in the computer and overwrites your existing operating system and replaces it all with Linux which is similar to Windows and repels viruses. Your old laptop will be running faster than you’ve seen it run in years. Then your old laptop can easily be used again either by you to freelance and make some money side hustling OR it can be sold to make a dime. The decision is up to you but installing Linux will without a doubt make your old laptop shape up.
If you’re looking for something a bit more simple. Maybe you only really need the laptop to be able to do a few things, then this could be the best option for you. You do this by installing chromium. This is also a promising go-to option for those android users who swear by all things Google. Plus Neverware’s Cloudready option allows you to keep all of the pre-existing data on your computer unharmed.
If your old laptop has a webcam build in or you have a webcam attachment, then this can easily be done. If you reinstall Windows and download iSpy, the computer will allow you remote access to be able to always see what’s going on within its camera’s view. You can also use the microphone built-in or attachment to hear what is being said. This can be used for your own purposes or sold to others who are looking for a non-suspicious camera. It is free to watch if you’re in your home, however it does cost almost $8 a month to be able to watch remotely wherever you are. However, I would argue it is a small price to pay if you’re doing it for security.
Looking to amp up your home decor or give your loved one a really meaningful present or heck even make this and sell it for the right price? A digital photo frame could be the best option for you.
You will literally take apart the laptop piece by piece and turn it into something completely different than what it once was. The YouTube video above does a great job walking you through the exact process and there are dozens more if this specific video doesn’t do it for you.
The bonus part about this option is that since you are taking the laptop apart anyway, you can turn your hard drive into an external USB which is always nice to have that much extra storage.
This option is definitely not for me because I am nowhere even close to an engineer. However, if you are, or if you enjoy taking apart and rebuilding items then this might be a great hobby for you. The linked instructions in the header do a great job explaining step-by-step exactly how to conduct this change.
Additionally, if you are a visual learner like me, use this video to help walk you through the process:
The benefit of a tablet is that if you want to sell it, a lot more people would rather a newer looking tablet than an older looking computer. It brings the street appeal if you will.
This is possibly one of the best options for personal use and for selling if you ask me. In today’s world, every single person is always looking not only for internet connection but for a smooth and fast connection. Doesn’t it just feel weird and frustrating when you have to wait minutes for something to load on your phone? Prehistoric if you ask me.
That’s where this hotspot would come in super handy. You could bring it wherever you go or travel to to help curb any fear you had of lack of internet. You could also sell it to someone because let’s face it, they are scared of the exact same thing as you.
This tutorial linked in the header shows you exactly how to create a hotspot that you will greatly benefit from.
What is NAS? Well, this means a network-attached storage system. Do you find yourself constantly running out of space on your computer or phone? Maybe it’s from pictures, documents, apps, etc. This NAS would allow you to store all of your files on your own network instead of the cloud and it would be accessible from your phone, PCs, tablets, etc. Additionally, it could be accessed from anywhere in the world that you are connected to.
This is something my brother did to help out our family. See my family takes a lot of pictures and we normally try to store them on google drive however we have really run up our storage limit so my brother creates a NAS with his old laptop and now every member of the family stores photos on there to get them off of personal devices like cell phones and tablets. It honestly has been put to such good use and I know for a fact the whole family appreciates it.
#8. Sell Sell Sell
Sell your old laptop! Seriously.
With sites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, etc. there is no reason or excuse for you to not try to sell your old laptop. Maybe there is someone who absolutely loves to make tablets (see #5) out of old laptops and they would buy it or maybe they could use some of the spare parts in it.
Or maybe you do one of the above options prior to selling to get it in it’s best possible condition and then get a bigger payout afterward. Regardless, if you need the money you should definitely try to sell your old laptop rather than just letting it sit around in a cabinet somewhere.
You never know who could get use from it.
Whether you fix up your old laptop and keep it for yourself, sell it or donate it, the options are definitely plentiful for what it can be turned into. Without a doubt, the many options above prove how you can make money from your old laptop. There are lots of options and one of them is bound to suit your needs. With that, have you ever done any of the above options for your old laptop? If so, tell us about it in the comments!
What do you normally do with your old laptop?
For more reads, check out these recent articles!